Tirukural – Chapter 88

Chapter 88: Understanding the Nature of Enmity

Verse 876
A householder is sitting on the ground holding the head of his dying wife. Behind him, his house is burning and in front of him he is being threatened by two mischievous men with clubs. Despite all these troubles, his close friend remains in support, calmly sitting near.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 871

So accursed is the thing called hatred that one
should never wish for it–even in jest.

Verse 872

It is bad enough to incur the enmity of those who live by the bow,
but never provoke the hatred of those who sow and reap with words.

Verse 873

One man who, all by himself, arouses hatred in many
is crazier than any lunatic.

Verse 874

The world abides beneath the greatness
of noble-natured rulers who befriend even their enemies.

Verse 875

Finding that he faces two foes and has no allies,
a lone man lures one to side with him.

Verse 876

When distress dawns, neither draw near nor depart from
new friends and foes–rather, leave them alone.

Verse 877

Never tell your troubles to those who cannot comprehend them,
nor expose your weaknesses to your enemies.

Verse 878

Engineer a plan, execute that plan well and ensure
your security–thus is the joy of rivals forever ruined.

Verse 879

Chop down a thorny tree while it is young.
Left to grow mature, it will one day cut the cutter’s hand.

Verse 880

Those who fail to quell a hostile rival’s pride
will be blown away by the mere fact that he still breathes.

Tirukural – Chapter 87

Chapter 87: The Merits of Enmity

Verse 863
Two villagers in the foreground observe two responses to a raging buffalo. A young boy, ignorant and unattentive, has been trampled by the beast since he did not leave the road. A wiser traveler has found refuge behind a tree and avoided harm.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 861

Rein in antagonism against the strong,
but unleash animosity against feeble adversaries.

Verse 862

How can an unloving man, with neither powerful allies
nor the strength to stand alone, overcome mighty enemies?

Verse 863

He who is fearful, ignorant, unfriendly and uncharitable
proves an easy prey to his enemies.

Verse 864

Letting go of his secrets but not his antipathy,
a man becomes easy prey to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Verse 865

Without character, conscience, piety and propriety,
a man may yet be delightful–to his enemies!

Verse 866

Even hatred can be a welcome thing, when it comes from
scoundrels seized by blind rage and indulgent lust.

Verse 867

Some men undertake a task, then undermine it unawares.
Acquire their hatred–indeed, pay good money for it.

Verse 868

If a man has no virtues and many vices, he will surely have
no allies, and this will be his enemies’ surest advantage.

Verse 869

Finding that his foe is ignorant and afraid to fight,
the attacker’s cheerfulness cannot forsake him.

Verse 870

Fame will flee the grasp of one who fails to grasp
the wealth of an enemy who is angry and unlearned.

Tirukural – Chapter 86

Chapter 86: Hatred

Verse 858
Two people of different clans have gathered in fiery contention and hateful argument. Above, two brothers flee the conflict and their wealth is saved. Below, a man approaches the fight, inflaming it further. As a result, his home above burns to the ground.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 851

It is said that hatred is the disease that spreads
the plagues of discord among all living creatures.

Verse 852

Though men devise disunity and deliberately harm you,
the highest path plots no hateful retribution.

Verse 853

Removing the incurable cancer called hatred
reveals one’s immortal, undiminishing splendor.

Verse 854

The quelling of hatred, that sorrow of sorrows,
confers on man the joy of joys.

Verse 855

Who is there who can conquer those
who have relinquished all hostilities?

Verse 856

For all who boast that they take delight in hatred,
failure and death are drawing near.

Verse 857

Men filled with hatred, knowingly causing harm to others,
never see that their hoped-for triumph lies in God’s true grace.

Verse 858

Wealth increases when a man walks away from hatred
and diminishes whenever he draws it near.

Verse 859

Seeing a prosperous season approach, men neglect hatred.
In times of ruin, they nurture it lavishly.

Verse 860

Out of hatred springs all bitter suffering,
while cheerful friendship yields good fortune’s every joy.

Tirukural – Chapter 85

Chapter 85: Ignorance

Verse 847
A farmer has climbed out on the branch of a tree, but he is sitting on the wrong side and is about to injure himself. The owner of the orchard rushes up to warn him and urge him not to proceed.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 841

Dearth of wisdom is the direst destitution.
Other poverties the world deems less impoverishing.

Verse 842

If any merit is gained when a fool gives a gift, however gladly,
it is due to the recipient’s past penance and nothing else.

Verse 843

The suffering that ignorant men inflict upon themselves
can hardly be contrived by their enemies.

Verse 844

What is stupidity, you ask? It is the conceit
that dares to declare, “I am wise.”

Verse 845

He who pretends to knowledge he does not possess
raises doubts about the things he really knows.

Verse 846

Fools follow a perverse path, clothing their well-formed naked body,
yet never thinking to conceal their deformed mind.

Verse 847

Neglecting valuable advice, an ignorant man
becomes the cause of his own misery.

Verse 848

That soul who neither follows another’s orders nor fathoms what to
do himself creates nothing but torment until he leaves this life.

Verse 849

As an unseeing man sees only the ways of his own mind, whoever
attempts to open the eyes of those who will not see is himself blind.

Verse 850

He who denies as false what the world declares
to be true is deemed to be an earthly demon.

Tirukural – Chapter 84

Chapter 84: Folly

Verse 836
A carpenter attempts to build a hut for a client, but it is unstable, for he does not know how to do it. He soon finds himself in trouble as the people witnessing this ask him to return the money that they have loaned him for the task.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 831

What is folly? It is holding on to that which is harmful
and throwing away that which is helpful.

Verse 832

The folly of all follies is to find pleasure in
doing what one is forbidden to do.

Verse 833

To be shameless, uninquisitive, loveless and uncaring
are four failings common among all fools.

Verse 834

No fool is more foolish than one who eagerly expounds
his learning to others while failing to follow it himself.

Verse 835

It only takes a single birth for a fool to earn by his efforts
a morass of misery in the succeeding seven births.

Verse 836

Not knowing how to act, when a fool undertakes an enterprise,
he doesn’t just fail, he shackles himself in chains.

Verse 837

Should a fool fall upon a great fortune,
strangers will feast while his family starves.

Verse 838

If a fool happens to acquire something of value,
he will behave like a drunken lunatic.

Verse 839

Friendship among fools is particularly sweet,
for there is not the slightest pain when they part.

Verse 840

A fool’s stepping into a saintly council
is like entering a clean bed with filthy feet.

The Guru Chronicles – Tamil

The Guru Chronicles is the inspiring tale of our Nandinatha Sampradaya, a spiritual storybook which explores over 2,000 years of the history and lives of seven extraordinary gurus. Gurudeva set the book in motion in Sri Lanka back in 1972. It was decades in the making and was finally printed in English in 2011. Today, inspired by the Hindu New Year, we announce the release of the recently completed Tamil translation of this important book.

You can go here to download the pdf, epub or mobi:

To learn about the amazing work required to create the book, go to the web link below which takes you to the English version of the preface.


And, we will soon upload a version to the web, so that you can read it online.

Tirukural – Chapter 83

Chapter 83: False Friendship

Verse 828
A gentleman stands with hands folded across his chest. He is confronting a wicked fellow who has approached him. Though the intruder bows with a smile, inside his heart hides a dagger of intended harm.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 821

The friendship of those who feign affection is an anvil
on which they hammer you when the opportunity arises.

Verse 822

For those who act like friends, but are not,
friendship fluctuates like a fickle woman.

Verse 823

Though their learning may be abundantly good,
ignoble men rarely learn goodness of heart.

Verse 824

Fear the cunning friend who, harboring
wickedness in his heart, smiles sweetly to your face.

Verse 825

Distrust whatever words may come from men
whose hearts do not beat in harmony with your own.

Verse 826

Sounding very much like a good friend's words,
a rival's words are nonetheless known very quickly.

Verse 827

Knowing how the bending of a bow forebodes nothing but harm,
never trust an enemy, though he bends low in his speech.

Verse 828

Folded in respect, a foe's hands may hide a dagger.
So, too, his tears dare not be trusted.

Verse 829

Men may amply aid you, yet despise you in their heart;
make them laugh, but let feigned friendship die.

Verse 830

When the time comes that foes pose as friends,
keep a friendly face but banish their brotherhood from your heart.

Tirukural – Chapter 82

Chapter 82: Harmful Friendship

Verse 816
A knowledgeable scholar is seated on the floor at his desk. He is looking sternly at and correcting his young prodigy, who hangs his head in shame for some shortcomings. Still the youth values the teacher’s friendship more than those outside the compound who are indolent and foolish.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 811

Though unscrupulous men may seem to consume you in friendship,
their companionship grows more delightful as it declines.

Verse 812

What does it matter if one gains or loses the friendship
of manipulators who befriend to gain and otherwise forsake?

Verse 813

Prostitutes, thieves and people who make friends
to make money are all alike.

Verse 814

Some men are like an untrained horse that throws its rider
on the battlefield. Loneliness is better than their friendship.

Verse 815

Better to give up than to gain the friendship of inferior men
who stay away when they should stay and help.

Verse 816

The enmity of the wise is ten million times
better than intimate friendship with fools.

Verse 817

An enemy's rancor is a hundred million times more worthwhile
than companionship with fellows who always clown around.

Verse 818

If friends feign inability to discharge reasonable tasks,
remain silent and gradually give up their friendship.

Verse 819

The fellowship of men whose acts
belie their spoken words is bitter, even in dreams.

Verse 820

There are men who will cherish you in private but censure you
in public--avoid their every befriending approach.

Tirukural – Chapter 81

Chapter 81: Old Familiarity

Verse 807
A limb, fallen from a large tree, has broken the chariot and injured the passengers. In the foreground the maker of the chariot apologizes to the charioteer, who assures the man that it was not his fault.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 801

What is old familiarity? It is when neither friend
objects to liberties taken by the other.

Verse 802

Liberties taken by a friend are friendship's rightful possession;
to allow them is the willing duty of wise men.

Verse 803

What is the purpose of long-standing fellowship
if friends' familiar actions are not accepted as one's own?

Verse 804

Familiar with familiarity, the wise are never annoyed
when friends do things without asking.

Verse 805

When friends do things that hurt you, attribute it
to unawareness or to the privileges of friendship.

Verse 806

Bound by brotherhood, true friends never break their bond
with an old comrade, even if he brings them loss.

Verse 807

Old friends do not forsake loving fellowships,
even when those they cherish happen to do them harm.

Verse 808

An intimate of any strength will never listen to faults said of friends;
and on the day a friend offends, he is content to keep silent.

Verse 809

The world cherishes faithful men who never forsake
old friendships, worn by time but unbroken.

Verse 810

Even ill-wishers will wish those well
who never abandon affection for old friends.

Tirukural – Chapter 80

Chapter 80: Testing Fitness for Friendship

Verse 800
A man is conversing with his wife when he notices a suspicious looking man outside surveilling them. Going outside, he offers the stranger a few coins to go away.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 791

Nothing is more grievous than friendship formed without first
testing, for once adopted, it cannot be abandoned by the faithful.

Verse 792

Unless it begins with testing and proving,
friendship may end in mortal sorrow.

Verse 793

Before you befriend him, consider a man's character,
family background, faults and faithful allies.

Verse 794

Pay any price to possess the friendship
of well-born men who cannot bear rebuke and shame.

Verse 795

Seek out and befriend those who, speaking out, move you to repent,
reprove your wrongdoing and teach you the right ways.

Verse 796

There is a benefit even in misfortune, for it is the rod
with which a man may measure the loyalty of friends.

Verse 797

To give up friendship with fools and quit their company--
such loss is said to be a man's greatest gain.

Verse 798

Don't dwell on thoughts that dim your spirit.
Don't befriend those who flee you in affliction.

Verse 799

Even in the hour of death, the thoughts of friends
who left you in your hour of need will hurt the heart.

Verse 800

Hold tight to friendship with pure men;
let go of unfit fellows, even by paying them off.

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